Coinbase testing fee-free subscription trading service on its platform

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Nasdaq-listed American cryptocurrency exchange platform, Coinbase is testing a subscription service that allows customers to trade on it without paying transaction fees for each trade.

Customers will still have to pay so-called spread fees when selling or buying cryptocurrencies through the service. Coinbase customers currently pay a commission and a spread fee. Any subscriber costs weren’t disclosed.

The trading platform is experimenting with its fee structure in response to increasing pressure from companies such as the US-based leading financial services company Robinhood, which is not charging trading fees and gaining users quickly. More than half of Robinhood’s transaction revenue currently comes from cryptocurrency.

According to reports, the subscription could also help make Coinbase’s revenues more predictable. Coinbase hasn’t been giving forward guidance because of the uncertainty of its sales, which are closely linked to interest in and price of Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies.

“We’re always looking to learn more about how we can best serve our customers in different ways. Right now we are still in the early stages so everything about the future product experience will be shaped by the feedback we receive from our users,” Coinbase said in the statement.

Coinbase recently announced the acquisition of its first startup, an AI-powered support platform, Agara in India with operations also in the US. Through the acquisition, Agara’s strong expertise in machine learning and natural language processing will be added to Coinbase’s engineering team.

Coinbase will report its quarterly results on November 9. Analysts are expecting a double-digit sequential decline in third-quarter revenue, due to a decline in trading volume and active users in the wake of a second-quarter slump in Bitcoin that likely weighed on investor optimism early in the third quarter.

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